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Child Abuse News Articles
for 2022
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1-20-22 Former Pope Benedict failed to act over abuse, new report finds
Former Pope Benedict XVI failed to act over four child abuse cases when he was archbishop of Munich, a German probe into the Catholic Church has alleged. Pope Benedict, then called Josef Ratzinger, held the position from 1977 to 1982. He has denied the accusations. But a new report into historical abuse allegations carried out by a German law firm incriminated the former pontiff. Abuse continued under his tenure, it is alleged, and the accused priests remained active in church roles. The former pope, now aged 94, became the first Church leader to resign in more than 600 years in 2013, citing exhaustion. Since then, he has led a largely quiet life in the Vatican City and is known as pope emeritus. The new report from German law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl was commissioned by the Catholic Church. "Two of these cases concern abuses committed during his tenure and sanctioned by the state," lawyer Martin Pusch said as he announced the report. "In both cases, the perpetrators remained active in pastoral care." In one instance, it is alleged he knew about a priest accused of abusing boys who was transferred to his diocese, but who then continued to work in pastoral care roles - this often involves visiting and supporting people within the community. The former pope is reported to have submitted dozens of pages of answers to the law firm's questioning, in which he expressed support for the inquiry but denied any knowledge or lack of action around the abuse allegations. The report, however, contains minutes which strongly suggest he was present at a meeting at which the subject was discussed. The Vatican said in a statement that it would examine the details of the report once it had been published. "As we reiterate the sense of shame and regret for the abuses on minors by priests, the Holy See expresses its support for all victims and it confirms the path to protect minors, guaranteed safe spaces for them," the Vatican added. A previous report into historical abuse in Germany concluded that more than 3,600 people nationwide had been abused by clergy members between 1946 and 2014. Many of the victims were very young and served as altar boys. The new report looking into the Munich and Freising areas specifically found at least 497 abuse victims from 1945 to 2019.

1-20-22 Ghislaine Maxwell seeks retrial in sex abuse case
Ghislaine Maxwell has officially requested a retrial, weeks after she was convicted on sexual abuse charges. The 60-year-old was found guilty of recruiting and trafficking young girls to be sexually abused by the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein. She has yet to be sentenced and faces up to 65 years in jail. The retrial request comes after a juror in the case told media that he used his own experience of being sexually abused to influence jurors reaching a verdict. In Wednesday's court filing in New York, one of Maxwell's lawyers asked for it to remain publicly released until the court rules on "submissions pertaining to Juror 50". They did not name the juror. Maxwell was found guilty on five of the six counts she faced - including the most serious charge, that of sex trafficking a minor. Her jail term will be decided by US District Judge Alison Nathan, who has not yet set a sentencing date. For the moment, Judge Nathan will be waiting to receive a pre-sentence report. This will be compiled by an impartial investigator who will look into things like Maxwell's background, family, education and employment history to determine if any of these should influence the severity or leniency of the sentence. She was found not guilty of one count - enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

1-15-22 Prince Andrew: Civil case accuser seeks UK witness testimony
Lawyers for the woman accusing Prince Andrew of sexual assault are seeking testimony from two people in the UK, according to court documents. Virginia Giuffre's legal team want Robert Olney, the prince's former assistant, to provide a statement. They also want one from a woman who says she saw the royal in a London nightclub with a young woman - around the time Ms Giuffre says she was abused in 2001 after he visited the club. The duke has repeatedly denied claims. Earlier this week, the 61-year-old prince failed in his attempt to have the US civil case dismissed. Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is hearing the case in New York, has asked for witnesses' evidence to be taken by lawyers by 14 July and said a trial could take place in court later this year. Ms Giuffre, now 38, claims the late financier Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her to have sex with men, including Prince Andrew when she was 17 - a minor under US law. In letters submitted to the Royal Courts of Justice in London, her lawyer David Boies requested two individuals in the UK provide evidence. Seeking testimony from Mr Olney, who is the prince's former equerry, the letter says Ms Giuffre has reason to believe he has relevant information about Prince Andrews's relationship with convicted child sex offender Epstein. This is because Mr Olney's name appears in publicly-available copies of Epstein's phone book, lawyers say. The other letter seeks testimony from Shukri Walker. The documents say Ms Walker has stated in the press that she was a potential witness to Prince Andrew's presence at the Tramp club around the time Ms Giuffre says the royal abused her in London after visiting. They note Prince Andrew, the Queen's second son, has denied being at Tramp on the night in question or having ever met Ms Giuffre. Meanwhile, the prince's lawyers want to question his accuser's husband, Robert Giuffre, about their household finances and how he met his wife around 2002, according to court documents.

1-12-22 Prince Andrew to face civil sex assault case after US ruling
Prince Andrew is to face a civil case in the US over allegations he sexually assaulted a woman when she was 17. Virginia Giuffre is suing the prince, claiming he abused her in 2001. His lawyers said the case should be thrown out, citing a 2009 deal she signed with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. But a New York judge ruled that the claim could be heard. He has consistently denied the claims. Buckingham Palace said it would not comment on an ongoing legal matter. The motion to dismiss the lawsuit was outlined in a 46-page decision by Judge Lewis A Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. It means the case against the Duke of York, 61, could be heard later this year. In court documents, Ms Giuffre said she was the victim of sex trafficking and abuse by late billionaire financier Epstein. Part of her abuse involved being lent out to other powerful men, she alleges. Prince Andrew, the Queen's second son, said in an interview with BBC Newsnight in 2019 that he had no recollection of ever meeting Virginia Giuffre, and her account of them having sex "didn't happen". His lawyers had argued that Ms Giuffre agreed in court in 2009 not to sue anyone else connected to Epstein when she settled her damages claim against the billionaire sex offender. During a virtual hearing they said the Duke of York was a "potential defendant" as defined by the agreement and the case "should be dismissed". Ms Giuffre's lawyer said only the parties of the settlement agreement could benefit from it, and not a "third party". In his decision, Judge Kaplan said the agreement "cannot be said" to benefit the Duke of York. He said his ruling did not consider the "defendant's efforts to cast doubt on the truth of Ms Giuffre's allegations, even though his efforts would be permissible at trial". He added: "In a similar vein and for similar reasons, it is not open to the court now to decide, as a matter of fact, just what the parties to the release in the 2009 settlement agreement signed by Ms Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein actually meant."

1-11-22 Texas mother who allegedly drove with COVID-positive son in trunk charged with child endangerment
A mother who allegedly drove to a COVID-19 testing site with her COVID-positive son locked in the trunk of her car was charged with child endangerment, CNN reported Monday. Sarah Beam, a 41-year-old public school teacher, was arrested and charged after her 13-year-old son was reportedly found in the trunk of her car as she drove up to a testing site on Jan. 3. According to the criminal complaint, Bevin Gordon, a health services official at the scene, called the police after "the defendant confirmed that her son … was in the trunk of the car due (to) the child having been tested positive for COVID" and that said she put him in the trunk "to prevent her from getting exposed to possible COVID while driving." Beam was released from jail Sunday on a $1,500 bond and has been placed on administrative leave by her school district. Some Twitter users cited this story as proof that "mass formation psychosis" exists. Fact checkers at The Associated Press defined the "mass formation psychosis" as "an unfounded theory spreading online that … millions of people have been 'hypnotized' into believing mainstream ideas to combat COVID-19." The term gained popularity after Dr. Robert Malone, an mRNA researcher and COVID vaccine skeptic, used it during a Dec. 31 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience. Malone cited Belgian psychology professor Mattias Desmet as the formulator of the theory.

1-8-22 Texas teacher 'locked Covid-positive son in car boot'
A US teacher has been arrested after allegedly locking her Covid-positive son in a car boot to protect herself from exposure to the virus as she drove to a testing site, say local media. Sarah Beam, 41, is reportedly charged with endangering a child. A witness called police after hearing someone in the vehicle's trunk on 3 January at the site in Harris County, Texas, according to click2Houston.com. The teacher reportedly opened the boot to reveal the boy lying inside. Ms Beam said her 13-year-old son had tested positive for Covid-19 and she was taking him to the Pridgeon Stadium location for another test to confirm the result, according to local media. She reportedly said she had placed the teenager in the car boot because she did not want to be infected herself. A health worker told her there would be no coronavirus test until the boy was allowed to sit in the back seat of the car, reports ABC affiliate KTRK-TV. Ms Beam has been working as a teacher at Cypress Falls High School since 2011, but is now on administrative leave, according to local media. Cy-Fair ISD Police Department said: "CFPD was alerted that a child was in the trunk of a car at a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site earlier this week. "Law enforcement conducted a full investigation, resulting in a warrant for arrest. Thankfully, the child was not harmed." Sgt Richard Standifer, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told local TV station KHOU 11 that the boy could have been seriously hurt if the vehicle had ended up in a collision. "I have never heard of somebody being put in a trunk because they tested positive for anything," said Sgt Standifer.

1-6-22 Ghislaine Maxwell: Lawyers call for retrial over juror comments
Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell say she deserves a new trial after a juror told media that he used his own experience of being sexually abused to persuade other jurors who doubted witnesses. Prosecutors also asked the judge to open an inquiry into the statements. Maxwell was found guilty last week of grooming underage girls to be abused by Jeffrey Epstein. The juror said he told fellow jurors that, like some of Epstein's victims, he had been abused as a child. The man, who asked to be identified by his first and middle name, Scotty David, told reporters that he shared his experiences with jurors after some had questioned the recollections from two of Maxwell's accusers. "I know what happened when I was sexually abused. I remember the colour of the carpet, the walls. Some of it can be replayed like a video," he said he told the jury, according to The Independent. "But I can't remember all the details, there are some things that run together." "When I shared that, they were able to sort of come around on, they were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse," Scotty David said, referring to other jurors, according to the Reuters news agency. He also said that he "flew through" the juror questionnaire used before trial to ascertain whether prospective jurors could judge Maxwell fairly, and did not recall being asked about his experiences with sexual abuse. He added that he would have answered honestly. In a letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, who presided over Maxwell's trial, the lawyer for the British socialite said there were "incontrovertible grounds" for a new trial to serve the interest of justice. The letter was filed shortly after prosecutors said the reports "merit attention by the Court". Neama Rahmani, a lawyer and legal commentator who co-founded West Coast Trial Lawyers, told the BBC that if Scotty David "lied on his prospective juror questionnaire and denied being the victim of sexual abuse, that would be both perjury and potential grounds for a mistrial". "This is why prosecutors cringe when jurors talk to the media after a guilty verdict: because jurors may say something that may overturn the conviction," he said.


7 Child Abuse News Articles
for 2022

Child Abuse News Articles for 2021